The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed is the fifty-seventh, and final story mission in Red Dead Redemption. It is also the final mission that the player controls the primary protagonist, John Marston.
To view the mission tree, see:
- Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree
As the mission begins, John Marston walks into the workhouse to find his son working. He and Jack begin to speak optimistically of their future as ranchers and as a family, as well as an airplane demonstration due to come to the county next year. All seems well in Beecher's Hope until Uncle yells for John from outside. John knows what's coming (however, it is not revealed to the player at that point), so he immediately tells Jack to run into the house and lock all the doors and windows, and not to come out "no matter what".
After John and Uncle defeat the first wave of American soldiers attacking from the west, John runs into the house to check on his wife and son. He again tells Jack to stay in the house. This time Jack doesn't listen. Jack grabs a rifle and follows his father outside. The three men fight the onslaught, soldier by soldier. Uncle is fatally shot, but John and Jack continue the fight.
Another wave held off, John gets Abigail and tells her and Jack to get to the barn. He will hold off the next imminent wave of soldiers. This time they will come from the plains to the south. You may choose to hold them off from the ground or on top of the silo.
The Marston family hold off yet another wave of soldiers attacking their land. John runs into the barn, where he knows Jack and Abigail will be waiting. They are panicking, confused and think they should all run away. John knows that's not possible. He knows he can't escape his past. John puts his wife and son on a horse and tells them they need to ride and not stop. It's the only way they will have a chance. Reluctantly, Abigail kisses her husband goodbye. Jack and Abigail ride out the back of the barn, leaving John to face the fate from which he has tried so hard to escape.
John turns, peering between the barn doors at the last faces he will ever see. He stops, drops his head, and takes a long, deep breath. Then he looks up and pushes the doors wide open, revealing more than twenty soldiers all armed and aiming in his direction. In cinematic fashion, the camera switches to the Dead Eye Targeting mode, as the player takes control of John Marston in his last stand. John takes a few down, but ultimately it isn’t enough. He is mowed down by bullet after bullet, as his clothes become drenched with his blood. He falls onto his knees, spitting out blood, taking several winded gasps of breath, staring at the remaining Army members and bureau men. John falls backwards onto his back, takes his last breath, and, staring up into the sky, dies. He has sacrificed himself for his family, knowing that after his death the government won't need to chase them and they'll be able to finally live peacefully. He has finally achieved his redemption.
Amidst the group of men is Edgar Ross, smoking a cigar as he coldly looks over Marston's body, a vague look of satisfaction on his face. With a final, disdainful shake of his head, he signals the accompanying army and bureau men and they slowly walk away in silence.
Abigail hears the shots coming from the ranch and tells her son to go back. The player takes control of sixteen year-old Jack as he rides back to the ranch, allowing him to spur the horse continuously without being bucked off. Jack and Abigail arrive to find John's body in a pool of blood. Abigail embraces her dead husband and weeps in bitter sadness for her fallen love and the life they never had.
Jack and Abigail bury John on the property alongside Uncle. The camera zooms in to John's grave, his epitaph reading "Blessed are the peacemakers". A quick fade reveals the same shot in a downpour, panning out from John's grave revealing Abigail's right beside it. She died three years later. A man, with a striking resemblance to John, looks down at the burial site, thinking. He puts Marston's hat on and turns, revealing himself to be the nineteen year-old Jack Marston.
Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:
- Jack Marston mission: "Spare The Love, Spoil The Child";
- Abigail Marston mission: "Old Friends, New Problems"; and
- Uncle mission: "A Continual Feast".
To complete this mission, the player must:
- Kill the first group of soldiers that attacks the ranch.
- Defend the ranch house.
- Protect his family as they run to the barn.
- Join his family in the barn.
When the Mission begins, the player must kill the first set of soldiers with Uncle. While the cart is the focal point when players first gain control, it is not very good cover as the Army can easily flank around and kill Marston. Instead, players should look to the right and take cover behind the cluster of boulders in front of the farmhouse.
After killing the first squad, Uncle instructs John to go check on his family, and a cutscene will begin when the player gets to their house, showing Jack coming out onto the porch. Players should then take cover behind the porch railing in front and kill the soldiers, taking cover and making sure their health is okay. Once Jack shoots one of their horses, that is a prime time to take them out as they are disoriented from the fall.
After killing a few soldiers, Uncle inevitably will get shot in the chest. Players should still focus on killing the rest of the soldiers. Some will begin to come from the north, but stay on the south porch to catch them by surprise, and a cutscene will begin where Uncle advises John to get Abigail and Jack evacuated. He then coughs and dies. There is now a big lull before more soldiers arrive. Players should use it to gather ammo; rifle ammo can easily be acquired, as the U.S. Army soldiers mostly use Bolt Action Rifles.
John will herd his remaining family out toward the barn, but as they cross the road, more soldiers will arrive. The player should stay close to their family and protect them by taking out every enemy who comes near. Finally, the player will get to a cutscene where John sends Abigail and Jack away, and is left to face a firing squad of U.S. Army troops headed by Edgar Ross. The player will immediately enter Dead Eye, although they should be careful not to press the Dead Eye button after this, as it will cause players to exit it. After the player fires a few shots with Dead Eye, the firing squad will gun John down. After this, the player will be in control of Jack, and they must ride back to the ranch to see John.
- Main article: The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed/dialogues
When playing as John Marston, the mission will fail if the player:
- Assaults or kills Abigail, Jack, Uncle, or Rufus.
- Allows Abigail or Jack to be killed.
- Abandons his family.
- Assaults or kills livestock.
- Commits vandalism.
When playing as Jack Marston, the mission will fail if the player:
- Does not return to Beecher's Hope.
- Assaults, kills or abandons Abigail.
- Assaults or kills Jack's horse.
- Strays too far from the mission location.
- Breaks the law.
- Kills a dog.
- Commits vandalism.
- Assaults or kills townsfolk.
Gold Medal Objectives
- Fastest Time: 5:29
- Shot Accuracy: 85%
- Number of Headshots: 15
For the sake of correctness, the following casualties are organized into two groups: confirmed casualties and potential casualties. Confirmed casualties are casualties that are required in order for the mission to continue, and occur before John is held at gunpoint in the barn, with the exception of John himself. Potential casualties are casualties that are not necessary in order to complete the mission and occur during the final Dead-Eye session of the game.
- John Marston - Killed by a large firing squad consisting of U.S. Army soldiers, Lawmen and Edgar Ross himself in order to save his family and finally achieve redemption.
- Uncle - Killed by a fatal gunshot to the heart while protecting the Marston family.
- 41 U.S. Army troops and marshals
- American Army Captain - Can be killed by John Marston during the last Dead Eye session, although many report that his model (sometimes multiple models of him) can be seen fighting beforehand.
- Up to six additional marshals during the last Dead Eye session.
Mission Complete Unlockables
- "Remember My Family" Stranger side-mission
- Ability to play as Jack Marston
- The final scrap of the U.S. Army Uniform
- Discovery of the U.S. Marshal Outfit
- Main article: Glitches in Red Dead Redemption
- Sometimes, after Jack and Abigail have ridden off, before the turn to the barn door, a second Jack can be seen hiding against the front wall of the barn.
- Sometimes, when the first cutscene ends, the game will freeze with the upper part of the last frame is cut and John and Uncle frozen in place and John infinitely spawn, if you look at the map the location at the player will be at the very top of the map. This can happen mostly on PS3 as seen here at 3:12.
- When Jack and Abigail return to John's body, sometimes his body will still be animated causing John to still be alive (even with the bullet holes in him)! When the cutscene starts, John won't be on the floor when Abigail goes over to him; instead he will be about a foot off the ground. However, when the second cutscene climaxes, he is nowhere to be seen.
- Sometimes, when Jack and Abigail are riding back to John's body, Abigail will be standing on top of the horse.
- After Abigail has died and Jack has finished looking at his fallen family, a younger Jack will still be there as if he is still holding Abigail although his eyes follow the older Jack.
- Also adding on to the last point, Abigail or Uncle may be standing on their graves, which means that they're actually underneath their graves.
- If the player owns the Bandana, an older Jack will walk away from his family's graves, and will have the bandana equipped, even if it wasn't equipped before. If the bandana is taken off, then Jack will reveal a second bandana underneath. That bandana will be removed normally. This bug seems to have been patched in the Game Of The Year Edition.
- Regardless of the console the game is being played on or the effect of any patches, when John hits the ground after being killed, his hat does not fall off his head, but when Jack and Abigail discover his body his hat will be on the ground about a foot away from his head.
- Sometimes, Jack will not speak the scripted dialouge during gameplay, although the subtitles will appear on-screen.
- After Jack and Abigail leave on the horse where Jack will be standing next to the desk next to the table he started near in the beginning of the mission. All he does is watch John, though.
- The mission's name is a reference to a line in the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
- Given that John Marston was the last known surviving member of the Van der Linde gang, he is symbolically the last enemy to be destroyed by the Bureau of Investigation in their goal of disbanding organized outlaw groups across West Elizabeth. Dutch himself predicted this would happen.
- During John's last stand, shooting any of the firing squad somewhere which is typically non-lethal such as the leg will still kill them instantly.
- While returning in the final sequence of the mission, Jack's horse will not lose stamina.
- The final location where you meet the Strange Man, who remarks "This is a nice spot", is the same spot John is buried in the final cut scene.
- Sometimes before starting this mission, if you go to the silo you can see Uncle fixing the ladder steps on it. Before this mission is started there are three missing steps on the ladder, making it impossible for the player to reach the top of the silo before this point in the game.
- If the player returns to the spot where John died at night, during stormy weather, the blood from his body will still be there, on the ground. However, this may be a glitch.
- While fighting off the army, John has unique dialogue. He may yell things such as "I did what you asked!" and "I won't let you take them again!", lamenting his betrayal by Ross.
- The dialogue John and Jack were having before Uncle calls John outside was about airplanes (a new thing by the time of this game), the same subject Jenny and the Preacher were discussing in their Exodus in America's train ride, making it so that airplanes are discussed at the start and at the (almost) end of the game.
- John is probably talking about it with Jack because he overheard said conversation between Jenny and the preacher on the train.
- In the beginning, John and Jack muse about "The day John Marston stopped shooting", ironically foreshadowing his death occuring moments later.
- While riding back to the farm as teenage Jack, the player is able to get off the horse and have limited ability to play as him; he is unable to obtain weapons unless cheats are used, though Jack's model will be deformed when aiming and firing weapons. He is also able to loot the bodies of the soldiers and use any consumables that he comes across including moonshine and chewing tobacco (while looting, he will use voice lines from his adult self). However, the player cannot abandon the vincinity of the farm, Abigail, or the horse while on foot otherwise the mission will fail.
Completion of this mission contributes toward acquisition of the following Trophies/Achievements:
Complete "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed".
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.